The Chartreux has existed in France for centuries, with stories, legends and myths about them dating back to the 1200s. The first recorded mention of the Chartreux appears in the 18th century and was made by the French naturalist Buffon, who called them the Cat of France. Severely diminished during World War I, the breed was not seen in wild populations after World War II. Efforts by European breeders kept the cat in existence. They remain a rare breed in the United States, with only dozens of breeders.
Chartreux are quiet, easygoing and gentle. Though sweet and devoted to their owners, they are independent cats with strong personalities. They are a quiet breed, and occasionally make chirping sounds rather than loud meows when they are curious about something. Chartreux are known for their intelligence and ability to solve problems - don’t be surprised if yours figures out how to turn the TV on and off or unhook latches meant to stay hooked. They don’t reach maturity until 2 or 3 years of age and tend to retain some of their playful and kitten-like personality traits into adulthood. Having been called the dog-like cat, it’s no surprise to find them getting along with all kinds of dogs, cats, and people. They are a familiar and comfortable breed, and will acclimate well to new situations.
The Chartreux is a large, round, and strong cat. Heads, likewise, are round and broad, though not spherical. They have full low cheeks and males have larger jowls. Their noses are broad and straight and do not turn up. Eyes range from orange to cold. Tails are thick and taper to a rounded tip, and paws are round and broad.
Noted for their thick, dense, glossy and water-repellent coats which resemble otter fur, Chartreux shed heavily and coats must be maintained. Chartreux come in any shade of blue, though bright blue is preferred in show, and uniformity of color is essential.